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A collection of dishes from Spice Waala in Seattle
Spice Waala specializes in kathi rolls and other Indian snacks.
Spice Waala [Official Photo]

Some of the Best Inexpensive Meals in the Seattle Area

Fantastic food at affordable prices

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Spice Waala specializes in kathi rolls and other Indian snacks.
| Spice Waala [Official Photo]

It’s no secret that ordering to-go meals on a regular basis can quickly strain one’s budget, especially in Seattle, where the cost of living is still sky high. But there are still some great places out there that are easy on the wallet and worth plenty of return visits. Below is a list of some of the truly excellent meals in the city that won’t break the bank, from rice dogs to tamales to kathi rolls and more, listed from north to south.

While all the places listed offer takeout, a number of restaurants have resumed indoor and outdoor dining. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the King County’s COVID update page. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Kathmandu Momocha

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15009 Aurora Ave N
Shoreline, WA 98133
(206) 694-3651
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Shoreline’s stellar Nepalese food purveyor has been a hit at local farmers market stands and a variety of local pop-ups, selling dumplings stuffed with chicken, beef, or pork. Five pieces run between $5-7 bucks, and can easily be a full meal — though there are options to buy frozen ones in bulk. Open for takeout through the commissary kitchen’s website and delivery via DoorDash.

2. Man'oushe Express

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13721 Lake City Way NE
Seattle, WA 98125
(206) 362-2694
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These Middle Eastern flatbreads (mana’eesh), made in a Woodstone oven at Goodies Mediterranean Market, are one of Seattle’s best kept secrets. Gut-bustingly large and wallet-friendly, they’re piled high with za’atar, ground lamb, kefir, bulgur, and mint. Open for takeout and delivery through Uber Eats, plus limited dine-in.

3. Frelard Tamales

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6412 Latona Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115
(206) 523-6654
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The Frelard Mexican restaurant offers gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and meat tamales for pickup and delivery, with instructions on how to heat at home (they can be ordered in bulk as family meals). It also continues to offer free meals for those who have been severely impacted economically by the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Xi’an Noodles

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5259 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 522-8888
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This no-frills spot on the Ave in the U District has been slinging some of the city’s best Chinese food since it opened in 2016 and recently expanded downtown. Bowls of hand-pulled, wide biang biang noodles are the main attraction, made from scratch every day. Must-try dishes include the spicy cumin lamb, which is a bargain at $10. Open for takeout with online preorders.

A closeup view of a bowl filled with lamb cumin noodles and herbs, pulled with chopsticks.
Lamb cumin noodles
Gabe Guarente

5. Arepa Venezuelan Kitchen

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1405 NE 50th St
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 556-4879
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Inexpensive, filling, and naturally gluten free? Arepas — pillowy, stuffed white corn sandwiches — might just be the perfect food and Arepa Venezuelan Kitchen does the finest job in the city out of their cozy green cottage in the U District. It’s open for takeout and delivery via Grubhub, Postmates, and Doordash.

6. Spice Waala

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340 15th Ave E #202
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 466-5195
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This Capitol Hill restaurant has quickly gained traction as one of the best spots for Indian street food in the city (it also recently expanded to Ballard). The lamb kebab and chicken tikka kathi rolls are both popular picks, as well as gluten-free snack options, such as papdi chaat. Open for takeout and delivery via Postmates, Caviar, and DoorDash.

7. Kedai Makan

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1802 Bellevue Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

Though this hugely popular Capitol Hill restaurant is open for takeout only on an impressively inexpensive menu of fantastic Malaysian dishes (such as the preserved duck egg or beef ribs stewed in black vinegar and soy). Those peanuts with crispy anchovy and chili, though.

A view of white paper lanterns strewn over the bar at Kedai Mekan.
Kedai Mekan serves up Malaysian bites.
Morgen Schuler/Eater

8. Marination

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2000 6th Ave
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 327-9860
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This South Lake Union spot offers Hawaiian-Korean fusion cuisine that’s hard to beat. Its latest takeout and delivery menu includes the wonderfully crispy aloha tots, along with a selection of tacos and sliders.

John Beck/Courtesy of Marination

9. Chung Chun Rice Dog

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502 S King St
Seattle, WA 98104

The International District outpost of this Korean fast-casual chain serves fun and satisfying meat-on-a-stick offerings, with coatings ranging from panko breadcrumbs to Korean ramen noodles to squid ink, served with a selection of savory and sweet sauces. Open for takeout daily and delivery through Chowbus.

10. The Original Philly's

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3019 Martin Luther King Jr Way S
Seattle, WA 98144
(206) 723-7445

Even though it’s a long way to Philadelphia, this no-frills sandwich shop in South Seattle does cheesesteaks right. Generously stuffed with chopped up beef, mushrooms, and peppers, there’s also the eternal debate: melted cheese on the bottom or cheese sauce on top? Can’t go wrong either way, especially at $8 for a full sub. Open for takeout and delivery via DoorDash.

A cheesesteak stuffed with meat and peppers at the Original Philly’s
Portions are generous at the Original Philly’s.
The Original Philly’s/Facebook

11. Emerald City Fish and Chips

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3756 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, WA 98144
(206) 760-3474
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This tiny, bare-bones South Seattle gem has been frying fine Southern-inspired seafood for a decade, with choices ranging from salmon to halibut to catfish to cod. And while fish is obviously the star of the show, the rest of owner Stevie Allen's menu is airtight as well, particularly the gumbo and po’ boys. Open for takeout and delivery through Grubhub and Chownow.

A view of fried fish with fries in containers on top of trays covered in red checkered paper.
Emerald City is a South Seattle gem.
Emerald City Fish and Chips/Facebook

12. Tang Food Mart

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6249 Airport Way S
Seattle, WA 98108
(206) 922-3796
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This convenience store in Georgetown may not look like much upon first glance, but it’s got a stellar selection of Vietnamese snacks served out of a small kitchen in the back, including caramelized pork belly banh mi, spicy garlic chicken wings, and rice bowls for takeout. There’s also a pretty solid beer selection in the fridge, for those who want to stock up on some essentials.

Closeup of caramelized pork belly banh mi with lettuce and pickled vegetables on a baguette
Pork belly banh mi
Tang Foodmart [Official Photo]

13. Grillbird Teriyaki

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6501 35th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98126
(206) 402-4388
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It’s difficult to put a fresh spin on teriyaki around these parts, but West Seattle’s newish fast-casual restaurant tries its best, making the selections both halal and gluten free (using tamari for the sauce). The classic chicken features a smoky char, and there are pot roast and vegan options, plus combos that provide plenty of value. Available for takeout and delivery without third-party apps.

14. Taco Street

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7136 Martin Luther King Jr Way S #102
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 659-0583
Visit Website

This taco sensation near the Othello station serves soft tacos Northern Chihuahua-style, naked with a choice of meat, plus burritos, tortas, and breakfast burritos (most under $5). There’s a large selection of sauces, salsas, and toppings to customize these beauties. Available for takeout and delivery via Grubhub, with some family meal options that could feed a small army.

15. Spice Bridge

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14200 Tukwila International Blvd Suite 141
Tukwila, WA 98168

This new food hall inside the Tukwila Village development supports women-owned immigrant businesses with kiosks serving a variety of international dishes for takeout. There are comforting Somali-Kenyan-Tanzanian stews at Moyo Kitchen, treats from Argentinian bakery Seatango, Congolese cuisine from Taste of Congo (including wonderfully chewy $3 beignets), and satisfying Gambian and Senegalese food, such as fish yassa, from Afella Jollof Catering.

A top-down image of various dishes from Taste of Congo
Taste of Congo is one of the new kiosks at Spice Bridge’s food hall from Food Innovation Network.
Denise Miller/Global to Local

1. Kathmandu Momocha

15009 Aurora Ave N, Shoreline, WA 98133

Shoreline’s stellar Nepalese food purveyor has been a hit at local farmers market stands and a variety of local pop-ups, selling dumplings stuffed with chicken, beef, or pork. Five pieces run between $5-7 bucks, and can easily be a full meal — though there are options to buy frozen ones in bulk. Open for takeout through the commissary kitchen’s website and delivery via DoorDash.

15009 Aurora Ave N
Shoreline, WA 98133

2. Man'oushe Express

13721 Lake City Way NE, Seattle, WA 98125

These Middle Eastern flatbreads (mana’eesh), made in a Woodstone oven at Goodies Mediterranean Market, are one of Seattle’s best kept secrets. Gut-bustingly large and wallet-friendly, they’re piled high with za’atar, ground lamb, kefir, bulgur, and mint. Open for takeout and delivery through Uber Eats, plus limited dine-in.

13721 Lake City Way NE
Seattle, WA 98125

3. Frelard Tamales

6412 Latona Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115

The Frelard Mexican restaurant offers gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and meat tamales for pickup and delivery, with instructions on how to heat at home (they can be ordered in bulk as family meals). It also continues to offer free meals for those who have been severely impacted economically by the COVID-19 pandemic.

6412 Latona Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115

4. Xi’an Noodles

5259 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105
A closeup view of a bowl filled with lamb cumin noodles and herbs, pulled with chopsticks.
Lamb cumin noodles
Gabe Guarente

This no-frills spot on the Ave in the U District has been slinging some of the city’s best Chinese food since it opened in 2016 and recently expanded downtown. Bowls of hand-pulled, wide biang biang noodles are the main attraction, made from scratch every day. Must-try dishes include the spicy cumin lamb, which is a bargain at $10. Open for takeout with online preorders.

5259 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

5. Arepa Venezuelan Kitchen

1405 NE 50th St, Seattle, WA 98105

Inexpensive, filling, and naturally gluten free? Arepas — pillowy, stuffed white corn sandwiches — might just be the perfect food and Arepa Venezuelan Kitchen does the finest job in the city out of their cozy green cottage in the U District. It’s open for takeout and delivery via Grubhub, Postmates, and Doordash.

1405 NE 50th St
Seattle, WA 98105

6. Spice Waala

340 15th Ave E #202, Seattle, WA 98112

This Capitol Hill restaurant has quickly gained traction as one of the best spots for Indian street food in the city (it also recently expanded to Ballard). The lamb kebab and chicken tikka kathi rolls are both popular picks, as well as gluten-free snack options, such as papdi chaat. Open for takeout and delivery via Postmates, Caviar, and DoorDash.

340 15th Ave E #202
Seattle, WA 98112

7. Kedai Makan

1802 Bellevue Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
A view of white paper lanterns strewn over the bar at Kedai Mekan.
Kedai Mekan serves up Malaysian bites.
Morgen Schuler/Eater

Though this hugely popular Capitol Hill restaurant is open for takeout only on an impressively inexpensive menu of fantastic Malaysian dishes (such as the preserved duck egg or beef ribs stewed in black vinegar and soy). Those peanuts with crispy anchovy and chili, though.

1802 Bellevue Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

8. Marination

2000 6th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
John Beck/Courtesy of Marination

This South Lake Union spot offers Hawaiian-Korean fusion cuisine that’s hard to beat. Its latest takeout and delivery menu includes the wonderfully crispy aloha tots, along with a selection of tacos and sliders.

2000 6th Ave
Seattle, WA 98121

9. Chung Chun Rice Dog

502 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104

The International District outpost of this Korean fast-casual chain serves fun and satisfying meat-on-a-stick offerings, with coatings ranging from panko breadcrumbs to Korean ramen noodles to squid ink, served with a selection of savory and sweet sauces. Open for takeout daily and delivery through Chowbus.

502 S King St
Seattle, WA 98104

10. The Original Philly's

3019 Martin Luther King Jr Way S, Seattle, WA 98144
A cheesesteak stuffed with meat and peppers at the Original Philly’s
Portions are generous at the Original Philly’s.
The Original Philly’s/Facebook

Even though it’s a long way to Philadelphia, this no-frills sandwich shop in South Seattle does cheesesteaks right. Generously stuffed with chopped up beef, mushrooms, and peppers, there’s also the eternal debate: melted cheese on the bottom or cheese sauce on top? Can’t go wrong either way, especially at $8 for a full sub. Open for takeout and delivery via DoorDash.

3019 Martin Luther King Jr Way S
Seattle, WA 98144

11. Emerald City Fish and Chips

3756 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144
A view of fried fish with fries in containers on top of trays covered in red checkered paper.
Emerald City is a South Seattle gem.
Emerald City Fish and Chips/Facebook

This tiny, bare-bones South Seattle gem has been frying fine Southern-inspired seafood for a decade, with choices ranging from salmon to halibut to catfish to cod. And while fish is obviously the star of the show, the rest of owner Stevie Allen's menu is airtight as well, particularly the gumbo and po’ boys. Open for takeout and delivery through Grubhub and Chownow.

3756 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, WA 98144

12. Tang Food Mart

6249 Airport Way S, Seattle, WA 98108
Closeup of caramelized pork belly banh mi with lettuce and pickled vegetables on a baguette
Pork belly banh mi
Tang Foodmart [Official Photo]

This convenience store in Georgetown may not look like much upon first glance, but it’s got a stellar selection of Vietnamese snacks served out of a small kitchen in the back, including caramelized pork belly banh mi, spicy garlic chicken wings, and rice bowls for takeout. There’s also a pretty solid beer selection in the fridge, for those who want to stock up on some essentials.

6249 Airport Way S
Seattle, WA 98108

13. Grillbird Teriyaki

6501 35th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98126

It’s difficult to put a fresh spin on teriyaki around these parts, but West Seattle’s newish fast-casual restaurant tries its best, making the selections both halal and gluten free (using tamari for the sauce). The classic chicken features a smoky char, and there are pot roast and vegan options, plus combos that provide plenty of value. Available for takeout and delivery without third-party apps.

6501 35th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98126

14. Taco Street

7136 Martin Luther King Jr Way S #102, Seattle, WA 98118

This taco sensation near the Othello station serves soft tacos Northern Chihuahua-style, naked with a choice of meat, plus burritos, tortas, and breakfast burritos (most under $5). There’s a large selection of sauces, salsas, and toppings to customize these beauties. Available for takeout and delivery via Grubhub, with some family meal options that could feed a small army.

7136 Martin Luther King Jr Way S #102
Seattle, WA 98118

15. Spice Bridge

14200 Tukwila International Blvd Suite 141, Tukwila, WA 98168
A top-down image of various dishes from Taste of Congo
Taste of Congo is one of the new kiosks at Spice Bridge’s food hall from Food Innovation Network.
Denise Miller/Global to Local

This new food hall inside the Tukwila Village development supports women-owned immigrant businesses with kiosks serving a variety of international dishes for takeout. There are comforting Somali-Kenyan-Tanzanian stews at Moyo Kitchen, treats from Argentinian bakery Seatango, Congolese cuisine from Taste of Congo (including wonderfully chewy $3 beignets), and satisfying Gambian and Senegalese food, such as fish yassa, from Afella Jollof Catering.

14200 Tukwila International Blvd Suite 141
Tukwila, WA 98168

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